Saturday, 16 October 2010

Wenger tells white lies? Manager on Pires. Will he sign England starlet?

Morning Gooners.

We're just hours away from being back at the Grove, of course hoping for an Arsenal win.

The manager took charge of his pre-match press conference yesterday and it was pretty bog standard stuff. Watching it back this morning on Arsenal TV Online I can see a few lines which would make stories. 

He went over the Chelsea game, how we can take positives from it. The issue surrounding Danny Murphy's comments on tackling - not wanting to add any fuel to the fire and reaffirming his belief of personal responsibility each player has for themselves.

It wasn't until the written press had their 15 minutes with the manager did the one line which most newspapers have gone with get talked about.

The manager was asked about the Wayne Rooney - Alex Ferguson situation. The player and manager disagree on why the former is not in the team.

Wenger said
"If you ask me have I lied to the press to protect a player, I must honestly say yes. 
"I didn't feel comfortable but I had a clear conscience because it was for a good cause. 
"But when I lie to the press I speak beforehand with the player and say: 'Listen, this is the story we're going to give.'" 
Now of course we all know the manager has told these white lies. You'd be a fool to think he has done otherwise. But the media is going overboard with headlines such as: Wenger: Yes. We do lie in the Daily Mirror to I've lied says Wenger in the Daily Express.

There are different headlines on the website articles, so don't be surprised at that when you click through.

I can almost be sure that one of the incidents Wenger was talking about was when Manuel Almunia was dropped last season. 

He was left out after the Manchester City game, allowing third choice Vito Mannone five league and three European games between the sticks.

The only games he missed were when Wojciech Szczesny took the gloves for the Carling Cup game against West Brom and Lukasz Fabianski taking over in the same competition against Liverpool in the fourth round.

Then the north London derby was on the horizon and Wenger opted for experience and Almunia was recalled from his 'illness' and exile on the bench.

It's nothing new. Managers have used this tactic since the game started. I imagine the media don't like it because Wenger has admitted he does it.

The other story to come from the press conference was surrounding the comments made by Danny Murphy.

Wenger said:
"Everyone knows what I think. When I spoke out two months ago I got stick from the whole country. But I stick to what I said then. 
"We have to make sure the players know when they go into a game that if they do something dirty they are going to get punished. 
"Football has a responsibility to punish people on video who do dirty things which the referee has not seen."
t's not like this issue hasn't been raised at an Arsene Wenger press conference before. But I'm glad he's sticking to his guns.

He also spoke about the possibility of resigning Robert Pires.

His answer in the broadcast press conference was all about money, how we had to stick with our planned expenditure and how we already had a 25-man squad.

The manager spoke about the issue again in the written press conference saying:
"I will help him to get fit but I have Rosicky, Nasri, Fabregas, Wilshere and Arshavin who all play in the same kind of manner, so if I sign Pires he will not play and it just adds to the wage bill."
However nice it would be to see Pires run out on to the pitch at the Grove in Arsenal colours, I think it would be better if we remembered him how he was in his prime. I wouldn't want his legacy ruined, much in the same way as I didn't want Patrick Vieira to come back.

Finally, we've been linked for the umpteenth time with Ispwich's 17-year-old striker Connor Wickham. Again by the Daily Mail.

A full preview of the Birmingham game will be along later.

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